Our guide to some of the best open water swimming venues in the UK.
Finding your local open water swimming venue can sometimes be a chore, so we’ve compiled a list of them for you! Start by choosing your region – North West, North East, Midlands, East Anglia, South West, South, London and South East,
Boundary Water Park
A popular swimming location suitable for novices. This shallow lake has GPS measured courses of 400m and 750m
Sessions are overseen by qualified coaches and run on Thursdays 17.30- 20.00 and Sundays 13.00- 15.00. The cost is £5 per session. There is free parking, changing, toilet and shower facilities, with wetsuit hire available for £5.
Pennington Flash (Ironman UK swim Venue)
Pennington Flash hosts the annual Ironman UK event and has accurately measured courses of 400m and 750m.
Sessions are held on Mondays 18.00-20.00 and Saturdays 08.00-10.00 and cost £5 per session with discounted rates for under 16’s.
There is a novice swim area and one to one and group coaching can be booked with an experienced GB swim coach who are also on hand to offer advice.
Salford Watersports Centre
The Salford watersports and outdoor activities centre is located on Salford Quays, not far from the centre of Manchester.
Open water swim sessions run Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 18.30- 20.30 with coached sessions held on Thursday evenings with Manchester Triathlon Club. Prices are £4.50 for Freedom members and £5.50 for non-members (with reduced rates for Juniors).
Changing facilities and wetsuit hire is available and there is limited free onsite parking.
Manley Mere Open Water Swimming
Manley Mere is a beautiful lake in the heart of the Cheshire Coutryside.
Sessions run on Tuesday 18.00-20.00 and Saturday 09.30-10.30. Cost is £5 and there is no parking charge for swimmers.
Otley Sailing Lake
Sessions run at Otley sailing club with Leeds and Bradford Triathlon Club on Tuesday 18.15-20.00 and Saturday 07.30 – 9.00. The cost per session is £3 or £1.50 for concessions.
Queen Elizabeth 11 Country Park / Newbiggin-by-the-Sea
Open water sessions run Thursdays 18.30-20.00. Coached sessions can be pre-booked via the website.
Allerthorpe Lakeland Park
Allerthorpe Lakeand Park offers a variety of watersports. Open water swimming sessions are held on Monday and Wednesday 18.00- 19.00 and morning sessions are available 09.00- 10.00 at a cost of £2 per session.
Barton Marina with Derby Triathlon Club
A small lake with a 500m swim course suitable for novices. Sessions are run by Derby Triathlon club on Wednesday 18.15- 19.30 and Saturday 08.30- 10.30. The cost is £3 for DTC members and £5 for non-members.
Parking is free although there are no changing facilities so try to arrive changed.
Bosworth Water Trust
Sessions are run by 1485 Triathlon club every Thursday 18.30- 20.30 and Saturday 07.00-09.00. The cost is £2 for 1485 Tri club members, £3 for non-members and there is a £3 charge per vehicle for parking.
Lavender Patch Lake
A 550m loop in a clean shallow lake suitable for novices to open water swimming.
Sessions are run on Tuesday 18.30 – 19.30 and Saturday 09.30- 11.00. The cost is £3 for MVH and Burntwood triathlon club members and £5 for non members.
Car parking is free however there are no changing or toilet facilities so try to arrive ready to swim.
National Water Sports Centre
Coached open water sessions are held every Wednesday and Friday evening 19.00-20.00. Sessions are technique based and a must for both beginner and experienced triatletes, however if you wish to do your own session you do not have to participate in the coaching. Sessions cost £10 and there is free car parking, changing and shower facilities.
Open water swim sessions are held at Fritton Lake on Tuesday 17.00-19.00, Thursday 18.00-19.30 and Saturday 08.30-10.30.
There are three courses marked out, 200m, 400m and 700m to suit your ability and the length of your session. Coaches will be on hand to guide you through your session or provide technique tips.
The cost per session is £5 or season tickets can be purchased for unlimited swimming throughout the summer.
There is free parking, changing and shower facilities and adequate space to lock your bike.
Cotswold water park
A clean and clear lake, you can swim every day of the year before 10am with a season membership for £40.
Swimmers of all levels will enjoy the 36-acres of fresh water that vobster has to offer.
There is a 750m marked course that runs the full length of the lake. The cost is £7.50 per swim with reduced prices for members. There is a spacious car park with changing and shower facilities.
Bristol Open Water
A man made lake with a 600m swimming lap course, a cycle route and a running track, perfect for brick sessions.
Sessions run Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 16.00- 20.00 and Saturday and Sunday 08.30- 12.30 and cost £5 to swim and £7 to include use of the running track.
There are changing rooms, toilets and a small on site cafe.
Elingham Waterski and Wakeboard Club
Sessions are held every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 06.00- 08.30 at a cost of £5 per session. There are also time trials held around the 1200m loop. There are showers and changing facilities on site and coaching is available should you need some help with your technique.
London and South East
Bray lake is home to water based sports activities offering a friendly welcome to triathletes and open water swimmers of all abilities.
Sessions run Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday 06.00-09.00 and Thursday 18.00- 20.45. The cost is £5 per swim for adults and Juniors swim free. Block bookings can also be made at reduced prices.
RG Active Open Water Swimming
RG active host open water swimming sessions at a number of London based venues.
Ham Lake, Richmond various session times (see website)
Fairlop waters, Barkingside, Essex session times Saturday 07.30- 09.30
Redricks Lake, Hertfordshire various session times (see website)
Hampsted Heath, Hampstead various session times, see website
Coached sessions are £10, ‘Just swim’ sessions are £5.
An ideal venue for open water novices, you can put your feet down in the majority of places as the water is approximately 5 ft deep.
Sessions run every Tuesday 18.30- 20.30 and Sunday 07.00- 08.30. Sessions cost £5.00.
Haysden lake, Tonbridge with 7Oaks Triathlon Club.
Sessions are run by 7 Oaks Triathlon Club on Cost Monday evenings 18.30 – dusk. The cost is £5 for non members.
Heron lake is one of the biggest open water swimming venues in England. Sessions run on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 06.00 – 08.45 and Monday 18.00-20.30 and cost £5 per session
There are shower and toilet facilities and wetsuit hire and coaching is available.
Openwaterswim.co.uk run open water swimming sessions at Liquid Leisure and Westhorpe Water Centre.
The cost is £5 per session or see their website for block bookings at a reduced price. There are changing, shower and toilet facilities at both venues.
Liquid Leisure, near slough
Liquid leisure offer a variety of swim courses to suit your ability and training needs with marked courses of 250m, 400m, 750m and 1300m.
Sessions run on Tuesday and Thursday 06.00- 08.45, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays 06.00- 08.30 and Wednesday 18.00- 20.30
Westhorpe water sports centre, Bucks
Westhoroe also offer a variety of swim courses of 250m, 750m and 1500m. Sessions run on Mondays and Thursdays 17.30– 20.00.
Shepperton Open Water Swim
A clean clear lake offering swimming in a relaxed atmosphere. Suitable for both beginners and experienced open water swimmers.
Session times are Monday 17.30-20.30, Wednesday 06.00-09.00 and 17.30-20.30, Saturday and Sunday 07.00-11.00
The cost is £5 per session which includes free parking, changing, shower and toilet facilities.
Coached sessions can be booked and there is the added benefit of a 1500m cross country running track around the lake.
Taplow Open Water Swim
Sessions Wednesday and Friday 18.00-dusk, Saturday 06.00- 09.00.
250m, 400m and 750m loop. Shower and changing facilities, hot and cold food and drink available, wetsuit hire.
The Quays, Camberly
Open water swimming sessions are held Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 06.00-08.00 and Sunday 06.30-09.30. The cost is £6 per swim plus wetsuits can be hired for an additional £5 per session.
Also on offer at The Quays are coached sessions and guided swims, both on an individual and one to one basis.
Tri20 Swim Centre
The Tri20 Centre welcome Triathlete’s and Open Water Swimmers of all abilities. There is a 750m swimming loop and cycleops trainers available to hire should you wish to practise your transitions. Sessions are run on Tuesday and Thursday 17.00- 20.00 and Saturday and Sunday 07.30- 10.00 at a cost of £5 per swim.
If you would like to add your open water venue to this directory, please email us here.
Triradar.com is the online home of Triathlon Plus. Save time and money by having every issue delivered to your door or digital device by subscribing to the print edition or buying digitally through Zinio or Apple Newsstand.